Joe Farinella of Lightly Technologies gives Trends in Lighting some sound advice on the importance of sticking to the client brief.
“Creative people are rarely short of a good idea. Choosing the right idea is usually the hard bit. A deep understanding of the challenge presented by a client, combined with a focused and clear response, are as important as creativity when it comes to answering (or writing) a brief.”
Lightly Technologies recently collaborated with Brunel University London on Project Zero: an ultra-thin lighting design challenge. More than 100 concepts were submitted by second year Product Design students. He said, “We were blown away by the quality of the work received. Whilst there was no shortage of creativity on display, the lack of familiarity with common client expectations was clear.”
The advice gleaned from this student challenge summarised below is aimed at broadly addressing the most common mistakes made. This feedback was shared with the students to help them prepare for their future roles as commercial designers and clients.
“Whatever stage of your career you are at, it’s easy to get carried away with an idea that you are passionate about. Sometimes that passion converts into a killer solution, and sometimes it bombs. Everyone has story to tell about pet hates as clients, horror stories of when pitches go horribly wrong or some golden nuggets of advice that were once received from a wise colleague….when it was too late.”
- Read the brief, then read it again. Do not ignore any aspects of the brief.
- Spelling and grammar matter. Preventable mistakes will make a client question your attention to detail and your professional credibility.
- Always give your concept a name. Naming your design helps you to bring even complex concepts to life.
- Never mess with your client’s logo. Don’t even think about it.
- A picture is worth a thousand words. Use words to support your illustrations not to replace them.
- Scale and context help you to see the big picture. Showing your design in the context of its intended use, along with clear dimensions, will help manage your client’s expectations and prevent costly misunderstandings.”
Joe Farinella is the Marketing Director at Lightly Technologies and studied Design at the Dublin Institute of Design.